Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Reforms announced


FIFA to set new presidential standards


A committee of the world football governing body is planning reforms to prevent future leaders from emulating controversial suspended president Sepp Blatter.

FIFA’s reform committee has recommended a 12-year term limit, and a 74-year age limit for future presidents of the world football governing body. The reforms come in the wake of the corruption scandal surrounding 79-year-old Swiss Sepp Blatter, who prior to his October 8 suspension had held the presidential post since 1998. 

FIFA has confirmed that it will hold the election of its next president at a special congress on February 26 next year. It also promised that it would do more to open up internal investigations into complaints and scandals.

“At its extraordinary session in Zurich today, the FIFA Executive Committee approved a set of important measures to further strengthen its governance and increase the transparency of Ethics Committee proceedings,” a FIFA statement said on Tuesday. It added these measures would reiterate “its commitment to necessary reforms already underway”.

Good practice

The FIFA reform committee also proposed that the executive committee be renamed as the “FIFA Council” and that it would be restricted to overseeing “strategic matters” rather than having “executive powers over policies”. The general secretary would be replaced by a chief executive.

The commission’s report, published by FIFA, says, “FIFA’s leaders must recognise and accept that the errors of the past were real, and they were unacceptable.”

Any changes have to be approved by all 209 FIFA members.

Henry Peter, a professor of law at the University of Geneva, told swissinfo.ch that the reforms would allow FIFA to bring itself in line with good practice in terms of good governance of federations.

“They are doing nothing else other than adopting a solution that is required from any respected sports federation worldwide. It is a basic principle requirement – a benchmark – which would be respected by any international federation,” he said.

He noted that FIFA was very unusual in not having such standards in place already.

FIFA crisis

Blatter and FIFA vice-president Michel Platini were suspended for 90 days earlier in October over a CHF2 million ($2.1 million) payment made by Platini in 2011. The Swiss has claimed that the payment was subject to a “gentleman’s agreement”. Both men deny the allegations of corruption. Swiss authorities are investigating the matter.

FIFA is facing unprecedented pressure to reform its governance structure following the May indictment by US authorities of nine current and former football officials on bribery-related charges. Many had served on FIFA’s executive committee or other FIFA committees.

Swiss public prosecutors are also investigating the decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar, both taken at a vote in Zurich in December 2010.

Questions over Platini

Platini, also head of European football body UEFA, is seeking the next FIFA presidency.

But the confirmation of the February date for the election has been seen as a blow for Platini, as a delay would have given him more time to appeal against his ban.

swissinfo.ch

Copyright

All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.

×